What is true freedom?
We hear the word freedom and the fight for freedom thrown around in the media daily like we are living in a new revolutionary war. If you didn’t know history, you might think freedom was a belief, a hope or dream, not a present reality.
Why do so many of us feel that we don’t have freedom? Today, more people live in democracies, have the right to vote, have basic human rights than ever in history. Yet, in their hearts, they still struggle for freedom.
Are you free today? I don’t mean do you live in the United States, the European Union, Australia or another democracy, but do you have true freedom in your heart and soul?
For thousands of years as we look through history, we see the struggle for freedom. A struggle to live free and not as a slave. For example, during the era of the Roman Empire, many thousands were enslaved by the Romans. One brave gladiator/slave named Spartacus led a rebellion against the Romans yet he failed to win his freedom.
But about 100 years after Spartacus, another man, Jesus, would come to the Roman Empire with a new message of true freedom.
Although we often feel we live in troubling times, the message of true freedom in Christ that Jesus brought 2,000 years ago is the same message of true freedom for us today.
True freedom in Christ brings peace and joy the heart longs for.
Freedom in Christ gives us victory over the darkness and allows us to walk in the light.
The freedom we have in Jesus is freely given to all who ask for forgiveness and believe in Jesus.
If you are longing for true freedom today, Jesus offers you true freedom, too.
What does true freedom in Christ mean?
Freedom from Guilt
The burden of sin is heavy. Whether we admit we have broken God’s law or not, deep in our hearts we know we have sinned and done wrong. The weight of this guilt on our minds can be troubling and lead to depression, confusion, and frustration.
But true freedom in Christ frees us from the guilt of sin. Jesus forgives our sins and remembers them no more. In Hebrews 8:12, we have this assurance,
“For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sin no more.” (ESV)
If you live day to day with feelings of guilt, cast off your burden like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress and turn to Jesus. Ask Jesus for forgiveness and to save you. You don’t have to live under the burden of guilt every day.
I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (ESV)
I John 1:9 promises that no matter what we have done or how we feel if we confess our sins and ask forgiveness, God will forgive our sins. With forgiveness, our guilt will be removed and we can have freedom and peace.
Freedom from the Slavery of Sin
Not only does Jesus give us freedom from the guilt of sin, but Jesus gives us freedom from the slavery of sin.
When the New Testament was written, slavery was part of life in the Roman world so the example of slavery would make sense to the readers in this time. For example, in Italy up to 1 in 3 were slaves and across the Roman Empire up to 1 in 5 were slaves.
Today, we don’t think of ourselves as slaves. But based on the choices we make daily either to live a life of sin or live a life of faith and obedience to Christ, according to the Bible we become a slave to the path we choose (Romans 6:16).
Are you struggling with sin today? Maybe it’s a habit you struggle to break or temptation you can’t resist.
Maybe you have tried to break this habit or end this temptation. As you struggle with sin, it starts to feel like a master, and you become a slave your sin.
But… you don’t have to be a slave to sin. At the cross, Jesus defeated sin.
Hebrews 4:15-16, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are and yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we might receive mercy, and find grace to help in our time of need.”
I Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape that you might be able to endure it.” (ESV)
My friend, if you are struggling with sin and temptation today, claim the victory in Jesus. You have not been left alone in your time of trouble. Jesus, who prays for you, understands your struggle because he was both God and man.
This doesn’t mean it will be easy to overcome your temptation, but it is possible through faith in Jesus to end your slavery to sin.
Don’t underestimate the power of the cross and prayer to give you true freedom from the slavery of sin and temptation.
Freedom from Past Mistakes
At some time in our lives, we have all made mistakes. We have some mistakes that are big and some that are small. Too often we dwell on these mistakes. We think about them and we try to wonder what life would be like if we hadn’t done something or if things were different.
None of us are immune from past sin and mistakes as we see in Romans 3:23,
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (ESV)
But Jesus doesn’t leave us in our sin. The cost of our sin was great. Jesus paid the debt in full so that we can live free.
Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (ESV)
Accept the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ today which includes forgiveness of sin and past mistakes.
We cannot change the past, but we can make a new future. Start today to make the changes (even small changes) that little by little will change your future.
Freedom over Death
While we don’t like to focus on death, part of living means we have to face death.
But we have good news, true freedom in Jesus gives us freedom over death. Christians don’t have to fear death because Jesus defeated death through His resurrection.
The ultimate hope of Christians is eternal life through Christ. Freedom over death means we do not have to fear death.
I Corinthians 15:54-56, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (ESV)
While our physical body may die someday, our soul will not die. Jesus gives us the victory over death.
Yes, we can have freedom over death, because death has been defeated, too.
Friends, the price of freedom has been paid. The victory is yours to claim today.
I pray you will live in the true freedom of Christ. Jesus offers true freedom to all that come to Him. Freedom from the guilt of our sin, freedom from the slavery of sin, freedom from our past mistakes and freedom over death.
Live in true freedom today.
For further reading and study, get the Anchored in Hope 30-day Scripture Journal.
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